Maternal and infant characteristics by mode of vitamin K prophylaxis administration

Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 05/04/2012

Khambalia AZ et al. – A small proportion of the Australian neonates may be at risk of inadequate protection from vitamin K deficiency disorder (VKBD) due to parental concerns about the safety of IM injection of VK to neonates.


  • De-identified computerised birth files of all babies born in New South Wales (NSW), Australia between January 2007 and December 2009 (when VK prophylaxis was measured) were included in the present study.
  • The outcome variable, mode of VK prophylaxis, was recorded by checkbox as oral, IM injection, none or not stated.


  • The authors analysed population-based birth data from 2007 to 2009 in NSW, Australia and found that IM injection was the most prevalent mode of administration (96.3%, n = 263, 555), followed by oral (2.6%, n = 7023) and none (1.2%, n = 3136).
  • Compared to neonates receiving IM VK, those with oral or none were more likely to have vaginal births without medical interventions at birth centres or planned home births and were less likely to receive hepatitis B vaccination.
  • Among neonates administered oral VK, a larger proportion were preterm births and breastfed at discharge compared to neonates administered VK as an IM injection.
  • Neonates with no VK recorded were more likely to be admitted to neonatal intensive care, but may have received VK later in the birth admission.

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